Sustainable Development

In the past, development programs over-relied on major infrastructure and macro economics with little measurable impact on the lives of poor women, their families and communities. To be effective, development policies need to focus on equity and sustainability with women at the center. Women, especially indigenous women, have a special relationship to natural resources due to their primary responsibility for fuel and water collection, food production and household management. Investing in gender equality empowers women and actually increases productivity, efficiency and sustainability. A recent review of World Bank projects demonstrated that sustainability increased 16 percent when women were included in decision-making. Sustainable development policies and programs must include women’s full participation from conception to actualization and compliance monitoring.

Invisible Market Energy and Agricultural Technologies for Women's Economic Advancement

This research explores what it takes for technology initiatives, specifically in the energy and agricultural sectors, to reach and economically benefit women in developing countries through market-based strategies that have the potential for achieving scale and financial sustainability. It builds on ICRW’s landmark paper, Bridging the Gender Divide: How Technology Can Advance Women Economically, which made the case for how technologies can create pathways for strengthening women’s economic opportunities.


Engendering agricultural research, development, and extension

 Research has shown that women, when given the capital and opportunity, make unique, positive contributions to development outcomes ranging from agricultural productivity to poverty reduction. It comes as little surprise, then, that agricultural research, development, and extension systems are generally more successful when scientists, researchers, and extension agents pay attention to gender issues. However, women continue to be underrepresented and underserved, and their contributions remain mostly untapped in national and international agricultural research. Worldwide, gender roles are culturally defined in all aspects of farming, from control of resources to production and marketing, and these definitions constrain and marginalize women. Even within the agricultural research community, most scientists and extension agents are male.


Girls Grow: A Vital Force in Rural Economies

 In August 2010, The Chicago Council announced an initiative to bring attention to the role of girls in rural economies of developing countries and identify opportunities to increase investment in women and girls as a tool for economic growth and social stability. Catherine Bertini, currently a Chicago Council senior fellow and Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, served as chair of the project.


Measuring a Nation’s Wealth Through its People

By Nkiru Uzodi*

On the morning of Thursday, November 4, I got to the UN Headquarters in New York after braving the heavy rain and fierce wind that almost blew me and my umbrella off East 42nd Street (and of course, after some serious security screening). But it was all worth it. My first time at the UN, I was excited to listen to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, who helped devise the Human Development Index for the first Human Development Report (HDR) in 1990. We were gathered this stormy morning to celebrate the launch of the 20th Anniversary Edition of the United Nations Human Development Report (HDR).

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Web site for DESA (UN Dept. of Economic & Social Affairs)

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) addresses global issues including poverty reduction, gender equality, indigenous rights, macroeconomic policy, and development finance.  DESA’s mission - to promote development for all - reflects a fundamental concern for global equity and equality.

DESA's Web site includes fact sheets, articles, and reports on its varied activities and projects around the world.  Gender equality, social development, and sustainable development are among the major topic areas featured on the Web site.

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